Wednesday, 25 September 2013

California Bill Makes Publication of Explicit Photographs a Misdemeanor


Disgruntled exes, who post pictures of their former spouses or partners on websites in revenge, could soon be penalized under a new piece of legislation that has recently been approved in California. The bill is still pending Governor, Jerry Brown's signature.
Under the bill, persons who post sexually explicit photographs of other people on websites, with the intent to cause distress, could be penalized. The bill makes some forms of revenge posting a misdemeanor. Violators will be punished with jail time or fines. However, the bill only applies to photos that are taken by others. The photographs must also have been posted online with the intent to cause distress to the person.
The law comes in response to a number of cases being reported from around the country, in which persons, especially women, have had their nude and seminude photographs posted on such revenge porn websites. These photographs were taken when these women were in relationships, and ended up making their way to the websites when the relationship headed south.
Typically, women have very little recourse to criminal action against the posting of such photographs. Most women file civil lawsuits claiming copyright infringement, invasion of privacy, or child pornography. However, they have little legal recourse to holding the person responsible for posting these photographs liable in a criminal court of law.
The California law aims to change that. However, the law is a watered–down version of the original piece of legislation that activists have been pushing for. These activists include women who had their photographs posted on revenge porn websites and their family members sites. These activists say that what is really required is federal legislation that makes such activities a criminal offense.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Mother Sues Army for Silence That Led to Abuse of Child


A mother, who claims that the United States Army remained silent on a sex abuse investigation that ultimately allowed the man to abuse and rape her daughter and videotape the proceedings, has sued the military for $30 million.
The man in question has been convicted on child pornography charges and child rape charges involving the girl. The crime was discovered back in 2008 when the child was six years old. However, according to the lawsuit that the mother has now filed against the US Army, the Army failed to warn the child's mother after it began investigating child abuse charges against the man.
Instead, officers went out of their way to assure the mother that she had nothing to worry about regarding the child. The Army also delayed notifying the TennesseeDepartment of Children's Services that the girl was in danger, for a period of 10 months.
The woman has a family relationship with the man, and says that since the ordeal, her life has been shattered. She is a single mother with two children, and has lost her job and house because of the ordeal since the abuse came to light.
The US Army has had a chequered history as far as sexual abuse and sex crimes   investigations are concerned. In fact, the Army has been widely criticized for its poor handling of sex abuse investigations. Congress is currently considering a number of measures that will actually eliminate key decision-making powers that are currently vested in the military, especially when it comes to sex abuse and sex assault investigations. Those powers could be given to civilians and independent prosecutors.

Friday, 23 August 2013

History of Sexual Abuse May Increase Suicide Risks


Drug users who have been subjected to emotional or sexualabuse during childhood may be susceptible to a high risk of suicide or suicidal fantasies as adults. That information comes from a new study that was conducted in Vancouver, Canada, and analyzed more than 1,600 drug users.
The analysis found that drug users, who had a history of physical or sexual abuse in their childhood, had a much higher risk of suicide attempts. In all these cases, the sexual abuse ranged from severe to extreme abuse.
However, interestingly enough, if the abuse was less severe in intensity, it did not necessarily boost the risk of suicide as adults. According to the research, less severe physical or emotional or sexual abuse did not result in any significant increase in suicide risks.
According to the research, as many as 80 of the participants reported that they had made 97 suicide attempts. That is a rate that is five times higher than the suicide rate in the general population. Persons, who had suffered severe to extreme childhood sexual abuse, were much more likely to have attempted suicide. The rate among these persons was 2.9 to 3.5 times higher for emotional abuse, and 2.5 to 2.8 times higher for sexual abuse. In the case of physical abuse, the rate was between 1.62 to twice as high as for the general population.
The researchers recommend that doctors screen for sexual or emotional abuse in a person's history, and intervene whenever the person's history suggests extreme or severe childhood sexual abuse.
A history of sexual abuse can be extremely traumatic for a person. He or she may need years of psychiatric counseling and therapy to recover, and even then, the emotional scars may never completely heal. While no amount of compensation can make up for the trauma, a sexual abuse lawsuit can help a victim recover

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Can I Move Out Of California with My Child?


Sometimes, a custodial parent may have to move out of California for job-related reasons, or for personal reasons.  Whatever the reason, the court may allow a person to move out of the state with a child if it finds that the move is in the child's best interests.
Under California law, you are allowed to move out of the state of California with your child, if you can prove that the move is in the best interests of the child.  The simplest and easiest way to move out of the state with your child is to talk to the other parent, and to work out a visitation schedule, that will help protect the rights of the other parent as well.  This requires great tact and diplomacy on your part. If the move would not hamper the child in any way, and would actually be better for the child, then it is possible for you to successfully explain the situation to the other parent.
However, in case the other parent does not agree to the move, then you may have to file a court request, asking for permission to move with your child.  Such consent is not necessary in those cases where the court has already granted you a child custody order giving you permission to move with your child, without asking for any consent from the other parent. 
However, if you go to court to enforce your rights, the burden of proof is on you to prove that the move would be in the best interests of the child.   The court can move to block custodial parents who want to move if it finds that the move will compromise the welfare of the child.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

String of Accidents Lead to Reduction in Motorcycle Officers

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Every San Jose motorcycle accident lawyer is aware that a motorcycle accident can result in catastrophic injuries, that can keep a person off his feet for weeks or months, and even unable to work.  The Bakersfield Police Department is finding this out the hard way.  The Department has seen many of its motorcycle officers involved in accidents, suffering injuries and unable to return to work, which is why it has decided to reduce the number of its motorcycles.
Just a few years ago, the Police Department boasted of a fleet of 25 motorcycles, but the fleet has been dramatically slashed down to just seven motorcycles.  According to the Police Department, there are several advantages that motorcycles offer during traffic enforcement operations, including maneuverability ability as well as a better view of the activity inside a car.  For instance, a motorcycle officer is much more likely to be able to determine whether a motorist is texting.
However, there have been too many risks associated with motorcycle law enforcement.  Many police officers with the Department have suffered serious injuries in accidents, and several of them had to opt for early retirement because of the catastrophic nature of these injuries.  In some cases, motorcycle officers have spent weeks and even months on disability, because of the nature of their injuries.
Since 2009, when the Police Department noticed ever-increasing number of accidents involving its motorcycle police officers, it has been downsizing its fleet.  According to the Police Department, since 2007 alone, there have been 37 police motorcycle accidents that resulted in injuries to the officer.
Motorcycle officers know that riding motorcycles is inherently more dangerous than traffic enforcement using the police car, but the Bakersfield Police Department is now not willing to take more chances on its officers, and has slashed its motorcycle fleet size. 

More Than One in Three Women Worldwide Victims of Domestic Violence

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Across the world, more than one in three women is a victim of domestic violence. That data was released by the World Health Organization which also confirmed that women in Asia and the Middle East are most affected by domestic violence.
The World Health Organization report is believed to be the very first study of its kind into the prevalence of violence against women and its impact on female health. The agency estimates that worldwide, as many as 30% of women face violence at the hands of their domestic partners.
The World Health Organization confirms that these are shocking statistics, and it also confirms that these statistics are seen across the world. Overall, data from more than 81 countries was analyzed as part of the study, but the World Health Organization did not single out specific countries for their record on domestic violence against women.
The highest incidence of abuse was reported from Asia, especially from India, East Timor and Bangladesh, where as many as 37.7% of all women are affected by domestic violence. In the Middle East, the rate was almost the same at 37%, while sub-Saharan Africa followed with a 6.6% incidence of domestic violence against women. In high-income countries like the United States and Japan, about 23.2% of women are affected by domestic violence.
The World Health Organization data also strongly links domestic violence to crime. According to the World Health Organization data, as many as 38% of female murder victims are killed by their male domestic partners.
Allegations of domestic violence can have a very disruptive effect on a person’s life.  You may face social censure, and may lose access to your children.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Older Motorcyclists More Likely to Be Injured in Accidents


For years now, researchers and Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyers have known that older and senior motorists are much more likely to be involved in serious or fatal accidents, compared to younger drivers.  Injury risks also seem to be much greater when a senior citizen is riding a motorcycle.
New research published in the journal Injury Prevention finds that when older motorcyclists are involved in an accident, they are approximately 3 times more likely to suffer serious injuries, compared to younger motorcyclists.
The research was conducted by Brown University scientists, who analyzed injury patterns involving motorcycle riders aged 20 and above.  Accidents that occurred in 2001 and 2008 were considered in the study, and in all of these cases, the person suffered injuries that were serious enough to be treated in hospital emergency rooms.
During the study period, the researchers found an estimated 1.5 million injuries among motorcyclists.  The injured motorcyclists were divided based on their age group, 20 to 39, 40 to 59 and 60 and older. 
The researchers found that the number of injuries in all of the three groups increased during the study period, but the motorcyclists belonging to the third group or the above-60 group had the sharpest increase in injuries.  In these people, the injury numbers increased from 4,352 injuries in 2001, to a staggering 15,170 injuries in 2008.
The researchers found that motorcyclists in the third group were as much as three times more likely to be admitted into the hospital after suffering injuries in an accident, compared to riders who were in their 20s and 30s.  Motorcyclists who were in their 40s and 50s were twice as likely as motorcyclists in their 20s to sustain injuries that were serious enough to require hospitalization.